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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2002 Ford Explorer is hands-down our worst vehicle on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.

The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.

Another common problem for the 2002-2003 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.

Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.

8.5

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,287.00
Average Mileage:
107,943 miles
Total Complaints:
380 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. ford needs to recall their faulty transmission (120 reports)
  2. not sure (118 reports)
  3. complete rebuild (78 reports)
  4. new tranmission (46 reports)
  5. new solenoid, pistol in tranny broken (11 reports)
  6. new solenoid (4 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 19)

problem #380

May 012014

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,130 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2002 Explorer. At 100000 miles the trans went bad. I took it in to a certified trans shop over 1 year ago and it is still there. They don't know whats wrong. It has cost me over 2700 dollars, my job and any work I had. I cannot afford another vehicle. I put all my savings into having this piece of junk tranny fixed..it still is not right..I cannot even drive it..

Ford should fix this by recalling these faulty transmissions and fixing them for free..and how about the engine..the timing chains go bad cause they used a plastic piece for the tension on the timing chain.they fail. I have had another engine put in and then the trans goes out. I had under 100 thousand miles and all this stuff happened.. Ford should recall the 2002 Ford Explore, fix the engine and trans problems for free!! As far as I am concerned Ford is junk. If they would make good on their faulty trans and engines then it would be different..they won't and Ford should be ashamed of their vehicles.

- , Silver Lake Wisconsin, USA

problem #379

Apr 162015

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,070 miles

The car drives fine for about 10 to 15 minutes, then then the o/d starts to flash and 5th gear won't jump in. This is so frustrating. Ford needs to correct this asap. This should be a recall.

- , Maplewood, USA

problem #378

Jan 222015

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

This week my 2002 Explorer had some rough shifting into gears happening and the O/D light continued blinking. Sent it to the mechanic (again) and he is diagnosing it as I type. He is a friend of mine, good, honest mechanic, one that I trust completely. He has stated that it sounds like we will be in need of another transmission. This will be the third one I have had to put in this hunk of junk. I do not have the money to buy a new car at this time in my life, and I do not have the money to put a new transmission in either. I am not sure what I am going to do for a vehicle at this time. Really sucks.

On a different occasion I was asking this same mechanic about pulling a small ATV trailer behind this Explorer and using the O/D button. He said, "If I were going anywhere with four full-grown adults in it I would use O/D. It is the worst transmission ever built." If only I had known about carcomplaints.com before buying it.

- , Burley, ID, USA

problem #377

Jan 122015

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

"OD off" light flashing; revs up waaay high in drive and can only drive in 3rd gear with failing power, or 2nd gear going 25-30mph; losing power to move.

- , Monument, CO, USA

problem #376

Jan 012015

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 238,000 miles

I WAS REALLY EXCITED WHEN I BOUGHT THIS CAR FROM A DEALER, IT WAS AN EX-POLICE CAR WHICH I THOUGHT WAS COOL BUT THEN I FOUND OUT THE TRANS IS SHOT THE MOMENT I DROVE OUT OF THE LOT. I TURNED BACK AND THE SALESMAN ACTED LIKE HE DIDN'T KNOW WHO I WAS. THE MANAGER SAID "TOUGH LUCK KID". I'LL GO TO FORD TOMORROW. GREAT START FOR THE NEW YEAR. MY LAST CAR WAS A 92 SO I BOUGHT 10 YEARS NEWER BUT NOW I'M 10 YEARS BEHIND FINANCIALLY!

- , Madison, SD, USA

problem #375

Oct 062014

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 176,000 miles

I own a 2002 Ford Explorer that I bought from my grandmother for my first car. It has the 4.6L V8 and it is in Eddie Bauer trim, the vehicle has always been very well taken care of and has only had one issue which was the window motor going out. The transmission does not shift into third gear anymore and the clutch slips frequently now. This car has been taken very good care of and should not behave this way unless it is a problem that was there at the start. I will now take my business to Chrysler or Chevy for my next car seeing as this problem has been existing for a long time and Ford has yet to be responsible about it. There is a reason why they call them exploders after all.

- , Wildwood, MO, USA

problem #374

Jun 112014

Explorer LX V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 145,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Another 2002 with a dead transmission. OD light is blinking and it slips past 2nd gear. WTF. I wish I would have known about this site before.

- , Pepperell, MA, USA

problem #373

Aug 152014

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 255,000 miles

Yet another Explorer with the defect which Ford refuses to acknowledge. Is Ford waiting for all 02 -04 Exporters to end up on the scrap heap rather than admit the problem they are fully aware of ?

- , Chestermere, Alberta, canada

problem #372

May 302014

Explorer ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,765 miles

Just bought this vehicle 3 weeks ago, and one week after I bought it, the service engine light came on. I didnt have the time to have it serviced right away, but now the O/D light is flashing too. I just brought it to the transmission shop, and they told me it will be $1800.00 to repair the transmission. Ive been reading alot of info online, and find out that this tranny in the this vehicle is known for its problems, and Ford is doing nothing to help out with the repairs. From what Ive read, this is a very widespread problem with Explorer owners and a very expensive problem to repair. Ford must know that this transmission is a piece of crap, and they should stand behind their product. We need a recall from Ford .

- , Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #371

Jan 012012

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Bought a 2002 Ford Explorer new in 2002, 1st new car that I ever owned. In the 1st year the back window hinge broke twice and had it replaced. Then the back panel with the Ford Emblem cracked in two twice and now the O/D light is on and the transmission is slipping and lurching. I had it checked and was told it was a sensor in the trans. and was told it would cost $400.00 for part and $400.00 for labor and THAT was not guaranteed that would fix the problem. I was told to fix the O/D light would be a new trans for 2600 dollars.

YES FORD SHOULD RECALL THESE TRANS BECAUSE OF ALL THE COMPLAINTS THERE ARE .HELL, THERE'S NOT EVEN A PLACE TO CHECK WITH A DIPSTICK. DIDN'T KNOW THAT WHEN I BOUGHT IT AND WON'T BE FOOLED AGAIN.

- , Pinnacle, NC, USA

problem #370

Dec 062013

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have 2 children and it is very dangerous for the transmission to be clipping like that i could be rear ended or anything when it starts acting up. I definitely think ford needs to do a recall on their transmission and fix this problem. This is the first ford I've ever owned and it will definitely be my last. I have already put over 500 dollars into fixing this problem and it didn't fix it. VERY upset with ford. Ill be buying dodge from now on.

- , Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #369

Apr 092014

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

If this is a widespread problem as it appears to be, Ford needs to recall and fix these cars.

- , New Boston, MI, USA

problem #368

Nov 302013

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

It is obvious how prevalent this problem is with this make, year, and model. Own up to your default, Ford!

- , Paramus, NJ, USA

problem #367

Jan 022014

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles

O/D light blinking and transmission slipping. Took it to a few "transmission experts." Price to rebuild ranges from 1400-3800 depending on the crooks . Plus, you have to leave the car with them for 3-4 days . And since you're not seeing what they're doing, you don't know if all that's needed in some minor work and you're getting charged for major work. You just don't know. I already had a rebuilt engine put in and new wheel bearings .

Ford knew what they were doing . They knew this cars transmission would break down after so many miles.

They should be held responsible for selling a defective vehicle. All of these vehicles should be recalled.

A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT IS WHAT'S NEEDED !

- , Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #366

Dec 182013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

The O/D light kept blinking O/D Off. Vehicle started to shake and slow down to a crawl. Was able to drive it to my Ford dealership. I was told that my transmission was shot and that I had two repair options:

1. Rebuilt transmission-----Cost $2,200

2. New transmission---Cost $4,200

I take care of my cars and had all of the regular checkups done at the dealership. This vehicle only has 112,000 miles on it. THERE IS NO WAY THAT THIS TRANSMISSION SHOULD HAVE GONE OUT IN THE CAR. READ A REPORT THAT SHOWED 412 COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE TRANSMISSIONS IN FORD EXPLORERS FROM THE YEARS 2000 TO 2004 WERE PROBLEMS. RECEIVED NOTHING IN THE MAIL ABOUT THIS. AM VERY UPSET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is our 4th Ford product that we have purchased from this dealer. Have been a customer there for 40 years.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #365

Sep 052013

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

2 out 3 months ago had transmission rebuilt, needle bearing went out on first and second gear. now the over drive light keeps blinking and tired gear kicks in hard with a knock and a jerk. I think it's a solenoid or valve body gasket.

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #364

May 022013

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Ford Co. Need to do a recall on their transmission!

- , Mcarthur, OH, USA

problem #363

Apr 172012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,837 miles

I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER FORD AGAIN!!!! I HAS TROUBLE SHIFTING INTO GEARS THE O/D LIGHT KEEPS BLINKING IT WILL FOR DEF NEED A NEW SOLENOID PACK IF NOT A NEW TRANSMISSION.

- , Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #362

Jul 262013

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 202,000 miles

Recall or fix this problem, there are too many complaints to ignore Ford or you will continue to lose customers...

- , Hickory, MS, USA

problem #361

Apr 022010

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

its so unfair that the ford co. don't do anything about it. I had other cars and the transmission on them seem in very good condition and they were older than this one.

What's up with ford company it started with this problem a long time ago close to the time the build it, but ford didn't do anything about it no satisfy customer here I tell you.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

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